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This is interesting. I hadn’t necessarily given this much thought. I guess the need for revenge comes from the feeling of betrayal when our trust is broken by others. It *is* a feeling of betrayal, and betrayal has such negative implications. Call me names, tell me you don’t like my company, tell me you don’t like my effing tie, but don’t *betray* my trust. It’s like the ultimate insult, is it not?

Olivier had a post up this week about just this sort of thing – the need to draw a line between reason and emotion when engaging in debate. He points out that debate is a battle and the only way to win is through reason. If your emotions get the best of you, you stand on loose and shifting ground, unable to defend or champion your position. It is for this reason that, when I find myself needing to escalate an issue with a service provider, I make every attempt to show the person on the other end of the phone respect; that I need their help.

It could be viewed as infiltrating the enemies first line of defense, subterfuge, or espionage (my inner Bond fan loves this idea), but it’s not such an extreme position to take. If I rip the first human I get a new one, the defenses go up and I limit my chances of getting what I want. It’s amazing the difference having just one insider on your side can make when battling a giant, multi-national coporation.

Good food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

Valeria -

This is an interesting post (and thanks for the book suggestion!) I think it can apply to people of all ages in the workforce. In such a public space, I think its easy for some to feel slighted if they aren't getting the recognition they feel that they deserve. On the flip side, it's also easy to feel attacked by individuals, and when the "revenge" happens, it's difficult to take the high road.

The thing is, you have to. Everything you say is a reflection of not only you, but the brand you work for (whether directly or indirectly.) But, if you show smarts instead, it usually works in your favor (and you aren't being petty at all.)

Lauren Fernandez, Radian6

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